Revealing Voices

Episode 19 – Live from the Heartland

Tony and Eric were keynote speakers at the Heartland: Best Practices for Ministries Conference . This episode is a live recording from the event.  The focus is on development of the Faithful Friends Mental Health Ministry and the Revealing Voices podcast.

The keynote address was given on October 10, World Mental Health Day.

This is our first podcast release not in our standard 45 minute format.

Next Episode:

We will be back in studio E for Episode 20 with Dr. Susan Lockwood. Her book, “Kicked to the Curb”, focuses on youth in the criminal justice system. It will be released on December 4.

Episode 3 – Tony E. Roberts Revealed

On this episode, Eric interviews co-host, Tony E. Roberts.  As an avid blogger and author, Tony is comfortable revealing his journey with mental illness.  In this podcast, we learn how Tony developed the confidence and calling to share the difficult intimate details that are part of his experience.

Tony shares the personal meaning of Psalm 37:4 – “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Some of the questions include:

How was Tony’s pastoral career affected after being diagnosed at age 30?

What is a manic episode like?

What inspired Tony to write Delight in Disorder?

How has stigma impacted Tony’s ministry?

What does healing mean to you?

Contact Tony:





A Long, Strange Trip and We’ve Only Just Begun

Thursday, March 1, 2018;    6:00 p.m. ;    The Riddle household.  ; Columbus, Indiana.

We posted episode 1 while recording on Facebook Live. Half an hour later, we were celebrating with 15 of our closest friends in our mental health ministry!

It’s been a long, strange trip since we first stepped out onto that country road that crosses the Columbus Reformed Presbyterian church.  How did we move from the germ of an idea to the uploading on iTunes? Much of the journey is shared and will continued to be shared here in this “Behind the Scenes” Revealog. Today, I want to go behind the “Behind the Scenes,” and dig into some of the hustle and tussle, the push and pull, the punch and counterpunch, that makes every creative collaboration produce a work that is greater than the sum of its parts.

1,   It’s all about the length, man!

From the beginning, Eric and I held strong and vastly different ideas of how long our podcast would be. Eric referred Inglorious Pasterds: Three guys from the Midwest talking about spirituality, the news, and all the things. It clocks in at 2+ hours. I preferred Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It : short mysteries for curious minds with short attention spans. It runs a consistent 10 minutes. We knew we would have some compromising to do in the editing process and, quite frankly, that was none too fun. It required much prayer to come to a common mind even on the opening episode. But we did it. And early feedback tells me we did it well.

2. Lynda, Lynda, wherefore art thou?

Along the way, there have been many technical challenges that required many calls and emails. Then, Eric found Lynda, shimmering in the glow of a midnight moon. Lynda is a training website for everything from computer programming to website hosting to podcast development. Eric fell madly in love and tried desperately to share her affections with me, even setting us up on a date Valentines Day. But there was one big problem. Lynda shows you her ways through video tutorials. I am not a visual learner. More than this, I still belong to the old school that says videos are for entertainment, not education. So Lynda and I were doomed from the outset. I will now need to learn the podcast dance from Eric.

3. Podcasts that have inspired us.

We knew from the outset that it would be foolish to reinvent the wheel. We spent much time researching podcasts that dealt with the topics of faith and/or mental illness. We contacted some hosts who have responded very graciously. We hope to develop mutually beneficial relationships with persons sowing some of the same seed in God’s kingdom garden.

Two shows of particular note —  CXMH a podcast at the intersection of Christianity & mental health, with Robert Vore. And, Fresh Hope for Mental Health, with Pastor Brad Hoefs. These shows are more than podcasts; they are ministries blessing folks like us and many others.

4. One down, how many to go?

When deciding on how we would list our episodes, we noted that some podcasts name theirs with three digits, like 001, 002, 003, etc… This numbering system is both ambitious and limiting. What if you end the show at 003? You’ve left people hanging. Then again, what if you come to 999 and there is nowhere else to go, like Y2K? We opted to modestly and accurately number ours conventionally 1, 2, 3, etc… We hope this doesn’t disrupt some Podcast Dewey Decimal System, but it seemed the spiritually humble thing to do.

5. Where do we go from here?

God only knows. By God’s grace, we have met or exceeded our original goals. Fundraising figure. Equipment purchases. Four interviews on the computer before opening episode. World premiere March 1. Now what?

We have some idea of what lies ahead, but we are also open to where the Spirit leads. And one way the Spirit leads is through the work of the body of Christ, believers with passion for God’s kingdom ministry.

We’ve had a lot of help along the way and we trust God will continue to provide. What can you do?

a.  Pray, pray, pray.  Prayer won’t get us all we want, but it will give us just what we need.

b.  Listen, share. Mental health ministry is not to exist in a vacuum. Care enough to share.

c.  Subscribe, so you will get the latest episodes the moment that appear.

d. Review and rate with 5 stars. This will help us reach more with Good News for mental health.

Yes, what a long, strange trip it’s been. And we’ve only just begin.

Episode 1 – Faithful Family

Our guests today are Jen Riddle (Eric’s wife) and April Cohen (Tony’s sister).

April graduated with a B.A. in Nursing from University of Indianapolis in 1997. She has worked 21 years in the field of psychiatric nursing, both in-patient and out-patient. In addition to being Tony’s sister and principal caregiver, she is married to Dan Cohen. The two of them have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite form of therapy is bargain shopping.
Jen is a recent graduate of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.  For nearly 15 years, she has worked with children with autism and their families.  She is an elder at The Living Room non-denominational church in Columbus, IN.  A native of Buffalo, she enjoyed watching the Bills NFL playoff run this year!
On this episode, Jen and April discuss what drew them into their spiritual and healing professions. April shares what it is like to care for an adult brother who has bipolar disorder, and Jen reveals how she and Eric navigate a relationship with a mental health diagnosis.

0 – Revealing Voices Trailer

Episode 1 is less than a month away.  In this release, Tony and Eric share a brief story of how they met in 2014 and what led them to the brink of Revealing Voices.  There is also a sneak peak of what to look forward to in future episodes.

Behind the scenes blog posts of the podcast creation  are at

All music in the release was produced by Tre Scott. Cover Photo produced by Ruby Reese Photography.

Out of the Silence, Like Prayers

Today we recorded our first interview! April (Tony’s sister) and Jen (my wife) joined Tony and me in our new studio- made official with the addition of a new IKEA conference table. The recording sounds excellent.  We had a scare after taking an intermission, but thanks to power of the “Undo”, recovered the recording.

Earlier in the week, Tony and I decided that the standard question we will ask all guests is “What does healing mean to you?”  The question worked really well today and generated great discussion that rippled throughout the interview.  I’m really satisfied with that question because it is a strong connecting point between faith and mental healthcare communities.  From my perspective, the faith and mental healthcare communities are the primary healing elements of society.  A goal of the podcast is to help bridge the conflict and misunderstanding that exists between these two areas. Read More

Technical Difficulties

We are halfway between the day we committed to starting Revealing Voices and our launch date of March 1.  Some days it feels overwhelming, other days it feels like we’re almost there.  In reality, we are making slow but steady progress.

On “The Show Runner” podcast, there are over 100 episodes that are essentially dedicated to the business of podcasting.  A quick review of the episodes (e.g. “Podcasting Lessons from a Psychotherapist”, “How to Create a MVP (Minimum Viable Podcast)”, “How to Execute Engaging Podcast Interviews”, etc.) demonstrates how much there is to consider in developing a successful show.

Side Note: For anyone interested in Indiana University basketball, the co-host Jerod Morris is also the host of “The Assembly Call” podcast about Hoosiers basketball!

We are lining up a local photographer and music producer who are friends of mine to help with our logo and show opening/closing.  These are key branding details which we need others to provide their expertise. Read More

Revealing Voices: the Faith-Based, Peer-Led Mental Health Podcast

Several podcasts touch on mental health. Others bring up topics of faith. None of these offer a faith-based, peer-led perspectives we need and believe others need to maintain wellness. Revealing Voices (RV) will dig deep and share honest stories of ways faith and mental healthcare can work together to promote healing. RV also offers humor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Like the Apostle Paul on lithium or Sigmund Freund at a week-end revival.

Who We Are

We are two men with vibrant faith who live with bipolar disorder.

Eric earned a B.A. in History and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. His life took an unexpected turn in 2008 when a devastating flood led him to become a community case manager. After the experience, he wrote a book called Watershed: Service in the Wake of Disaster In preparation for the 10-year anniversary of flood recovery, Eric has been asked to co-lead the “Pleasant Grove Project” to turn a flood plain into fertiled land for building community. Eric supports mental health peer  recovery as a member of the Stability Network, and Vice-President of the local chapter of National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). He co-founded and now co-leads (with Tony) the weekly faith-based, peer led mental health and ministry group, “Faithful Friends”.

Tony received a B.A. in English & theology from Hanover College and a Master’s of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. He served 20 years in pastoral ministry, specializing in addiction and substance abuse recovery and ministry with those who have mental illness. He has published work in a number of periodicals, including Christianity Today (CT) Pastors, Presbyterians Today, Upper Room, These Days, devozine, and Stand Firm. His published spiritual memoir: Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission led him to become a keynote speaker at the first “Shattering Stigma with Stories,” a mental health and faith conference in Lake Oswego, OR. He is now at work on his second publication, sharing the story of his life in faith both inside and outside of psychiatric hospitals. His current work can be found on Delight in Disorder.
Read More

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Tony)

This post marks the unveiling of a new mission. In March of 2018, a podcast will debut called, Revealing Voices: The Mental Health Podcast That Raises Unanswered Questions and Shares Unanswered Prayers. My co-host Eric Riddle and I share a firm faith in Christ and we both wrestle with a bipolar disorder.

Our show will include stories related to faith and mental illness, news and views in the media, podcast reviews, inspiring quotes and Scripture verses, as well as interviews with folks who have a mental illness, families and loved ones, church leaders, and mental health professionals.

Our goal in “Revealing Voices” is to offer hope and break down stigma. It is to reveal the voices of those often silenced. To give voice to revelations often hidden for fear of judgment. And to face honestly what is yet to be revealed to us.

Embarking on this mission has required much soul-searching and devotion on our part and we still wonder if we are up to the task. One thing is clear, we are not. But with God’s help and your prayers, Revealing Voices will move from our heads into a world where faith and mental illness have too long been divided at the expense of wounded souls like us.